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Niki – Rock 'n' Ball
Niki - Rock 'n' Ball Coverart.jpg
Developer(s) Bplus
Publisher(s) Bplus
Platform(s) Wii (WiiWare)
Release date(s) JP TBA
NA January 26, 2009
EU December 19, 2008
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Single-player, Multi-player
Rating(s) ESRB: E
PEGI: 7+
Media Download

Niki - Rock 'n' Ball is a game produced by Bplus for the WiiWare. It was first released in Europe on December 19, 2008 (2008-12-19) and later in North America on January 26, 2009 (2009-01-26).[1] The game runs on 2.5D graphics.[2]

Contents

Gameplay

The game lets players choose between two control style and ways of holding the Wii remote: vertical or horizontal. Two players can play together using two Wii remotes. While holding the Wii remote vertically, players can tilt the remote left and right to accelerate left or right. Players can jump by swinging the Wii remote up or by pressing A; players can to change Niki into rock form by holding B and back to normal form by releasing B. While holding the remote horizontally players use the left and right buttons on the D pad to accelerate left or right. Players can press the 2 button to jump, and they can hold the 1 button to transform Niki into rock form; they can release the same button to turn back to normal. Pressing the + button pauses the game.[3]

Players must collect all of the six ZeLeLi pearls in proper order and defeat all the monsters to complete a stage and advance in the game. However, new monsters constantly appear on each stage, and players lose a life if any monster touches Niki. If a player takes too long in any given stage, it starts to flood. If the stage gets filled to the top, players lose a life. The game ends when all the players' lives are lost. The stages are not limited by the sides of the screen: if Niki moves off the left side of the screen he appears again at the right hand side. If players finish a level fast enough, they obtain a collectible medal. If players touch a fireball, then they become invincible and become able to jump higher for a short time.[3]

Plot

The game is set in the far future. In one planetary system all the living creatures have been transformed into balls and attacked by the monsters. Players take control of Niki, who has been turned into a ball and attempt to stand up against the monsters to protect his village. When Niki comes across a mysterious ZeLeLi amulet, which gives him the ability to change into a hard rock, giving him the ability to defeat the monsters. Players must help Niki chase away all the monsters before they become too overwhelming in number and take over his village.[3]

Development

Reception

WiiWare World rated the game with an 8/10, praising the fun gameplay structure, the colorful graphics and the game's various monsters. Citing WiiWare World: "Features like the co-op mode and high score mechanic add replayability so there’s something to come back to after finishing each of the game’s many stages." In the summary, they "highly recommend taking a spin in Niki’s world."[4] Wiiloveit.com gave Niki - Rock 'n' Ball a 24/30 "Very Good," calling it "a real gem with some great controls that just needed a bit of practice, and an art style that really began to work in line with the rest of the game." They positively mention the game's music and conclude with saying that it is "a very good retro-style game that'll keep you going back for more."[5]

In contrast, IGN gave the game a rating of 4.7, saying that the concept is weak, the controls are terrible, and that the art style "screams 'homebrew'".[6] Gamespot, who gave the game a rating of 5.0, also called the controls imprecise and the art style bland.[7] The game holds a score of 44 on Metacritic, meaning that the game received "generally negative reviews".[8]

References

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